Often when sales reps fail to sell, the entire team is to blame for it. Questions of who missed the quota and why sprout up, giving management a reason to target some sales reps for termination. Poor sales performance sucks for both the sales team and management alike. But the answer isn’t cycling out average and underperforming sellers just yet. Re-evalute your sales plan and strategies. The answer might just be within these four missteps:
Leadership’s sales plan or process may be sending sales reps down the wrong path.
It all starts with you. You know the saying – a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off? Well, you’re the head. Your chickens, or sales reps, need you! Without functional leadership, sales teams search in the dark for guidance, often without a complete knowledge of your products, audience, sales strategies, sales process or best practices. In the end, their lack of knowledge reflects not only on the upcoming quota, but you.
Your sales training doesn’t show salespeople how to meet sales goals.
Whether your company trains poorly or not at all, you’re missing out on more avenues to beat sales growth goals and inviting in a host of undesirable guests: damaged company reputation among customers, low sales rep morale, decreased productivity, difficulty entering a marketplace and of course, lost revenue.
To increase sales, your sales reps need to be following up consistently. Are they?
Following up is like water to salespeople. As essential as following up is for sales reps, many sales managers are surprised to discover that only 48% of sales reps follow up with prospects, choosing to stop contact after two follow ups. But there’s more. Some sales reps sleep on the importance of lead response time. If reps fail to engage a prospect an hour after they show interest, that rep loses the opportunity to interact meaningfully with a key decision maker.
Boost sales motivation and retention by rewarding your team’s high and average sales reps.
You read that right – keep your average sellers. Why? According to the 20-60-20 rule, your team consists of a top 20%, average-performing 60%, low performing bottom 20%. Your team’s top 20% intuitively know how to sell and to who, scoring them high marks on their quarterly quotas. Your company can boost revenue immediately by focusing time and energy on the middle performers.
Digging your team out of a bout of poor sales performance may be the hardest set of steps and actions you take this month or year, but its rewards for your team and company are worth it. For more information on investigating and improving underperforming sales, see our presentation.